Hua Shan (华山)

August 9, 2005

2160m

Shanxi, China

This was my first summit after owning a digital camera. Mom and I did it as part of our summer trip after my graduation from elementary school. Hua Shan is famous of its exposed terrain. Well, I’m talking about “exposed” from tourists’ point of view. There’s no real exposure since the routes (staircases) are well protected by chains and fences. Like other mountains in China, this one sees thousands of tourists each day during prime season. You have the option to take a gondola to the upper mountains, but we opted for hiking up. It was a long way to get up there though. Hua Shan has 5 summits. We only went up the most impressive, west summit, and the highest, south summit. On the way down we refused to take gondola again and ended up descending in dark for hours. I was freaked out in darkness but we managed to get out with no mishap, and took the last train to Xi’an and continued our journey. Our round trip time was more than 14 hours and I was definitely beat.

Me at the entrance gate

Me at the entrance gate

The west summit in the background.

The west summit in the background.

This is the theme of this mountain.

This is the theme of this mountain.

The same part as above, but higher up

The same part as above, but higher up

This bit is the most vertical

This bit is the most vertical

And then, "exposed" ridge like this

And then, “exposed” ridge like this

Looking down at this ridge's start. As you can see, there's no real exposure

Looking down at this ridge’s start. As you can see, there’s no real exposure

Looking down one side from the ridge

Looking down one side from the ridge

Another impressive peak. (It's not part of Hua Shan though)

Another impressive peak. (It’s not part of Hua Shan though)

Me with the west peak behind. It's getting closer

Me with the west peak behind. It’s getting closer

More steep staircases like this

More steep staircases like this

And, this.

And, this.

Mom near the summit of west peak. It was a grey-out up there

Mom near the summit of west peak. It was a grey-out up there

Coming down from west peak, view opened up briefly

Coming down from west peak, view opened up briefly

Mom with the south peak's vertical cliffs behind

Mom with the south peak’s vertical cliffs behind

Looking back towards west peak from partway up the south peak

Looking back towards west peak from partway up the south peak

Me on the summit of south peak (the highest among 5 summits)

Me on the summit of south peak (the highest among 5 summits)

Mom on the summit

Mom on the summit

Coming down. Me with the north summit behind

Coming down. Me with the north summit behind

Steep staircases, the theme

Steep staircases, the theme

It gets near vertical lower down

It gets near vertical lower down

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